A ride on a Vespa in solitary, nice and intimate, despite the heat of the deserted streets of Rome in August. We know, you already have the scene in mind: it is that of the first episode of Dear Diary, winner of the Cannes film Festival in 1994, where Nanni Moretti plays himself.
Moretti goes through almost the whole city, in a monumental tour, which nurture the director's passion for houses and buildings and becomes a sociological reflection on the transformation of the city from the Thirties to the Nineties and especially after the economic boom of the Sixties.
In the first episode, the director, riding his Vespa, visits the districts of a semi-deserted Rome in the summer observing the palaces and monuments that meets along the way while reflecting on the cinema and life.
It starts with the Gianicolo: Moretti drives his Vespa by a very narrow and deserted way.
Then he stays at North Rome, in the next stage we visit the elegant streets of the Parioli. The first reflection concerns the cinemas that are closed in summer or broadcast porn or horror splatter like "Henry", which the director will see later at the Fiamma cinema in Via Bissolati before sitting in Piazza del Popolo trying to remember who spoke well of the film.
The Vespa goes along Via delle Sette Chiese. Moretti will declare that he likes very much to see the houses, the neighborhoods, his favorite is the Garbatella, the popular district of the capital, we will find out later, was born in 1927.
And then we see the attics where he would like to live, like those on the Lungotevere Flaminio, or Via Dandolo, whose prices are around 10 million per square meter because it is an historical route.
Then he crosses the Flaminio Bridge which the director says he loves and travels along at least twice a day. In the rest of the tour we are in Viale Mazzini and then Piazza Mazzini and we discover from Moretti that Flashdance is a film that changed his life and he wanted to know how to dance well, rather than just watching.
A pause to see a performance of mambo and then back to the vespa, direction Spinaceto, recent neighborhood that is included in the speeches to gossip about it and that however in the end "is not that bad". In southern Rome we find ourselves in Casalpalocco: among the houses you can smell videotapes, dogs in the garden, ready pizzas. The director asks a resident why he came to live in this neighborhood 30 years ago, when Rome was still beautiful.